Google, the world's largest Internet search engine, on Friday announced the rollout of out a new "Fact Check" feature that will put "fact check" tags on articles in its news search results. The new feature comes after Google had been criticized for not policing the content found in its search results, some accusing the firm of spreading fake news and misinformation.
Google announced the new change in a blog post. "For the first time, when you conduct a search on Google that returns an authoritative result containing fact checks for one or more public claims, you will see that information clearly on the search results page. The snippet will display information on the claim, who made the claim, and the fact check of that particular claim."
The company is working with fact-checking organizations like Politifact and Snopes and plans to open the system up to other news organizations like The Washington Post and the New York Times, according to Bloomberg. Hypothetically, once the feature is opened up to multiple news organizations, there could be varying verdicts on whether a search result is true.
Google reiterated in their statement that it wouldn't apply to every search result and that the fact-checks were coming from outside sources. "This information won’t be available for every search result, and there may be search result pages where different publishers checked the same claim and reached different conclusions. These fact checks are not Google’s and are presented so people can make more informed judgments."
Any publisher can apply to add fact-checks to news results, but Google will determine which appear in the results using their own search algorithms.
The new feature comes on the heels of social media giant Facebook introducing tips for their users to help differentiate between real and fake news. Both organizations were widely criticized throughout the 2016 presidential election for helping facilitate the spread of misinformation.
Google said they are not paying any of the fact-checking organizations for their contributions, nor will the fact-check label affect the order of search results.